Sunday, December 7, 2008

Numb3ers” Conspiracy Theory” Weak, Yet Entertaining

Friday’s episode of Numb3rs – AKA Numbers – titled "Conspiracy Theory" offered a crime story that was somewhat thin. The show was more interesting watching the FBI agents, friends, and family debate famous, and maybe personal, cover-ups.

The story involves a Global Development Organization (GDO) is taking place. The GDO is labeled as a charity organization made up of wealthy and influential individuals. Because of the members' status, the group has a reputation among conspiracy theorists as a secret society that controls many world events, even the Superbowl. At first, the agents go after the conspiracy theorists themselves, but when they realize this is a dead end, they use the stereotypical nerdy conspiracy theorist to help crack the case. They are led to an extremist group, who they conveniently kill during their attempt to capture them, but one of the men has a connection to the owner of the building, and it turns out he orchestrated the whole thing just so he could force the razing of the building so he could build another building in it’s place.


What was more fun was listening to Agents Colby Granger (Dylan Bruno) and David Sinclair (Alimi Ballard) debate the Kennedy assassination. I think those two have some of the best chemistry of any two law enforcement guys on television. Their banter is very comfortable and seems very real. I think the weak spot of the show, maybe with the series itself, is the Epps brothers themselves, who are central to every show.

As I wrote back in October, Charlie Eppes (David Krumholtz) is still an annoyance. In this episode, he seems to be quite put out that Amita (Navi Rawat) didn’t tell him about a long past arrest record that she had. It was for a minor infraction that was classed as a misdemeanor, but Charlie seemed put out that she hadn’t told him about it. Amita tells him that she can’t be expected to tell him every little thing. But later, caving in, the weak Amita later decides that she has to give Charlie her diary to read, that she has kept up since a child, so he can know all there is to know about her. Now really, wasn’t that just indulging Charlie’s petulant, spoiled behavior? If he can’t handle not knowing every little thing that his girlfriend has done in her lifetime long before she met him, then he has some growing up to do.

Also bordering on becoming annoying is Charlie’s brother Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) who suddenly seems to want to rediscover his Jewish faith, and is put out that his girlfriend seems to have some skepticism about religion. Later, she gets him tickets to an event where a topic is to be discussed and debated by a rabbi and someone else not connected to a specific faith. That was a much smarter move than Amita’s, as it shows she possible wants Don to learn tolerance and respect for the opinions of others.

The mathematics in the show are always interesting, even though sometimes it seems like the hard, overly complicated way to solve a crime. Still, since it is the “hook” for the show, it has to be expected that a crime can’t be solved without some kind of mathematical solution.

Always enjoyable with the show are Judd Hirsch (as daddy Eppes) and Peter MacNicol (as Dr. Larry Fleinhardt), who both seem to have their hands full in trying to teach the Eppes boys the real lessons of life. In this episode, Alan Eppes tries to show Colby and David his own model of the Kennedy assassination and offer input on how his own friends at the time handled it, causing Colby and David decide to leave well enough alone.

Numb3rs remains an entertaining series. The cast is good, the stories passable, and the math interesting. It could be better if the Eppes brothers could learn that life isn’t all about them. I think Don is working to learn that lesson, but I think that it may be a lost cause for Charlie – as there may not be a mathematical answer to life not revolving around him!

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Tim Fleming said...

I missed the "Conspiracy Theory" episode (I rarely watch network programming.). What did they characters have to say about the JFK assassination?

Tim Fleming
author,"Murder of an American Nazi"

I Like to Watch TV said...

I don't have the episode any more so I can't get very specific, but I can tell you that Colby and David were arguing the usual "lone gunman" vs. multiple gunmen theories. Alan Eppes also had a small model showing the position of the car and lines added into the model showing what either he or one of his friends had felt were the paths of the bullets. Since David and Colby decided not to get a third person into their argument, and they didn't want to ruin their own friendship, we never get to hear Alan Eppes theories.